Written Documentation: Condition Survey, Treatment Proposals and Treatment Reports

Master List of Books - thumbnail
This is the list of all 1500 books chosen for conservation treatment for the grant. It is the main access point to the records of all the books in the database.

Part of the Conservation Code of Ethics is to record any alteration made to a cultural artifact. A treatment may drastically alter the state of a valuable, unique object that is library property; what it looked like before is a vital part of the historical record. This documentation takes two forms: written and photographs.

Screen Search - thumbnail
The database can be searched by bibliographic information, condition report, treatment proposal and/or treatment report. This is also the way to generate reports and statistics when needed.

A condition survey is designed to give a clear snapshot of the book’s physical condition. Within a few minutes, each of the 1,500 books were examined thoroughly. Its current condition was described using standardized vocabulary and then recorded into the database. At the same time, a treatment proposal for the book was created. Again, using standardized vocabulary, a list of what needed to be done to conserve the book was decided on. The details of this initial proposal could change one the book was brought to the conservation lab, but it was accurate enough to batch like work together for a more efficient workflow. A change in the treatment proposal is not uncommon, since sometimes it is hard to asses the damage until the cover has been removed or the book disbound.

Bib Info Page - thumbnail
The point of entry for each individual book. From here the condition report, treatment proposal, treatment report and before and after photos can be accessed.

After the treatment is completed, a treatment report is written. For the Save America’s Treasures grant, this is another aspect of the conservation database. Each step of the treatment is reported and all materials used are listed. This enables future scholars to know how the book was conserved and what might have been altered from the original (such as a replacing a missing spine or adding new endsheets). The treatment report will also aid future conservators if further treatment is needed for the item.


Condition Report - thumbnail
The condition report was the first part of each record to be filled out. Each book was examined individually and its current condition, before treatment, was recorded.
Proposal - thumbnail
After the current condition was assessed, a treatment proposal was made. Since each book can have so many treatment needs and variations, the actual treatment often varied once work was started.
Treatment - thumbnail
After all conservation work is complete, the treatment report is filled out to record what work was done, any changes which might affect the artifactual value and a list of materials used.
Photo Page - thumbnail
Before and after (as well as any during) photos are stored with the record for easy access.